Introduction: Hide-A-Key

Picture of Hide-A-Key

An easy way to keep a spare key on the outside of a vehicle.


Spare Key (preferably with Key Ring)
Strong Magnet (old hard drive magnets are ideal)
Electrical Tape

Step 1: Thread Key on to Magnet

Picture of Thread Key on to Magnet

Put the key ring through the hole on the magnet.

Step 2: Wrap With Electrical Tape

Picture of Wrap With Electrical Tape

Get the key flat against the magnet and wrap with electrical tape. This is to prevent the key from flapping around, and also to protect the bumps and ridges of the key from dirt and wear.

Step 3: Stick It to Your Car

Put the key and magnet somewhere on the under carriage of your car. I tend to stick mine somewhere around the rear bumper.

Never get locked out of your car again!


porcupinemamma (author)2009-06-28

Oh.. I see :0) I lose everything! Where do you think discarded computers might be and more specifically, do you have any ideas where I could find the magnet without tearing apart a computer?

dll932 (author)porcupinemamma2011-10-23

While hard drive magnets are stupid strong, you can get very strong rare-earth magnets (they're plated silver color) at Radio Shack or similar.

nanonano58 (author)2008-07-08

i carry a the key of my car and my house in my wallet

nakigara (author)nanonano582009-04-14

its probably a good idea to separate identification and keys, so that if one gets lost/stolen, the finder/stealer does not have easy access to your dwelling (exact location, and keys)

nanonano58 (author)nakigara2009-04-14

i had never think that :P i'm going to made a tricky key

Grey_Wolfe (author)nanonano582009-09-16

I do the same thing Nano. But my address on my ID's is from a few years ago and halfway across town from where I really live. lol

dll932 (author)Grey_Wolfe2011-10-23

You can get coded tags for stuff at travel stores. You register at the website and if someone finds your stuff (not just keys) they call the number on the tag and they tell them what to do with it. Got one on my keyring.

PSPerson (author)2011-08-07

i love that its a hard drive magnet.. but i have a store-bought hide-a-key on my car... in a difficult place to find. difficult enough that i thought I lost it on the road somewhere until I looked again a couple months later!

klee27x (author)2008-07-08

I'm here to post my official disapproval of your choice of tape. After one hot day, your key is going to be covered in goo. I'd suggest masking tape! :)

ve2vfd (author)klee27x2008-07-08

I would not use any type of tape... My preference would lean towards shrink tubing the key onto the magnet.

unjust (author)ve2vfd2008-07-09

i was thinking the same thing, but that could make it difficult to remove (since if you lost your keys you may have lost your knife), and gunk will accumulate inside of the heat shrink. i think a pop rivet through the fob and magnet will hold things pretty well, whiel still allowign use of the key and the brass of the key is reasonably non reactive, and unless it's getting battered by gravel in your wheel well, it should be ok on it's own. maybe a wrap or two of saran wrap over the entire thing.

Grey_Wolfe (author)unjust2009-09-16

Simple solution: Jewelry or bead baggie (The little ones that look like they're for dope). Put the whole thing into the baggy, then wrap the baggy in just one or two loops of tape to make it tight. No goop on key, and still reasonable to open.

kescorza (author)Grey_Wolfe2011-08-01

I think the baggy would be too obvious though...

porcupinemamma (author)kescorza2011-08-04

Perhaps not if the baggie was the right colour so as not to attract attention?

kescorza (author)porcupinemamma2011-08-04

True. I'm not saying put a florescent green baggie under your car. What I mean is that most thieves now to look for spare keys under the car. If they see a baggie wrapped in tape, that is an obvious sign.

porcupinemamma (author)kescorza2011-08-04

lol, My car is such a wreck, I might be better off if they took my car. lol

georion (author)klee27x2010-06-20

sorry but masking tape will probaly result in a lost key

georion (author)georion2010-06-23

Masking tape is a poor choice for anything other than masking--sorry

klee27x (author)georion2010-06-21

Read the instructable again. And look at the pics. The key is connected to the magnet with a steel split ring. The tape is only there "to prevent the key from flapping around." Actually, you could just wrap the thing with a few tight turns of saran wrap and call it good.

dniloc2cv (author)2009-02-28

Some concern about new car keys with chip in them. What is effect of strong magnet?

Grey_Wolfe (author)dniloc2cv2009-09-16

The key chip is flash programming if I remember correctly. Magnet would have absolutely no ill effect on it.

dll932 (author)Grey_Wolfe2010-01-03

The chips are radio transponders-magnets would have no effect. SOME keys are basically a magswipe card in the shape of a key(Marlock), but those aren't used in cars.

Grey_Wolfe (author)dll9322010-01-21

That's kind of what I figured, but I appreciate the detailed response. :)

Anotar (author)2010-01-03

Nice way to keep a key handy!

Reading the comments, some are potentially troublesome so I'll mention some things to keep someone from getting disastrously misinformed reading these:

The first item is that electrical tape is the ONLY tape to use, as it will not loosen up and fall off with time, but it is the only easily obtainable tape I am aware of that can get wet and still be removed and not leave a residue. Wrap something with masking tape, duct tape, or even scotch tape and leave it outside for a couple of rains and try to remove the tape then, especially on something like a key. You'll be in trouble.

The next thing to be aware of is that electrical tape sticks best to itself, so plan accordingly when wrapping a key.

Lastly, I dispense with the magnet and simply tape the key to an easy to reach body support inside the fender well. If you tape the key completely it is pretty indistinguishable as a key, and after a couple of days you'll have to look closely where you put it to find it, and it will always be ready for you in a pinch.

guitarmonk15 (author)2010-01-01

 hate to tell you, but most thieves know about the key hidden under the car. then again, you might only have to worry about that in high crime areas. none the less, its a good ible

bourquen (author)2009-11-18

I've got the same thing, but rather than taping, I've riveted the key to the metal plate that the magnet is glued to.  This way it can fold out without being unattached. 

It's a great idea any way you implement it, I'm not the type of person to share my work (I'd rather spend that time working on something else), but i'm always glad to see others do so.

porcupinemamma (author)2009-06-26

How does the metal key stick to the magnet if it is wrapped in electrical tape? I love your idea, but I don't understand exactly how it works. Please help I am chronically unorganised. Thanks :0)

devinj (author)porcupinemamma2009-06-27

the key is held to the magnet with the key ring. the tape is just used to keep everything in a tight package.

craig3 (author)2008-07-08

why cant you just carry your keys with you? instead of on the car where someone can find and steal?

porcupinemamma (author)craig32009-06-26

Ahhhhhhhhh you must be an orgenized person. Sigh....many of us reading this sadly are not, and tips like these really help us a lot.

unjust (author)craig32008-07-09

the point here is a *spare* so that when you lock your keys in the car or loose them you're not stuck. security through obscurity works pretty well here since very few folks are going to take the time to search the undercarriage of your car in the hopes of finding a spare key.

someone *might* check the wheel wells for one of the magnetic boxes, but again, it's a dirty obvious thing to do, and there are much easier ways to steal a car

kbs2244 (author)2009-03-26

In these days of plastic bumpers it can be hard to find a place to put a magnet. Under the hood somewhere is good, but most cars now have inside the car hood release. My solution is a 2 step one. My ignition needs a key with a chip, but the doors will open with a key without the chip. A key without the chip is duct taped dead center on the inside of one of my hub caps. That means it only is subject to rotational force and not centrifical force. That key will get me in so that I can get to the well hidden inside the car key with the chip to start the car.

willyjoeshow (author)2009-01-29

I would wrap a layer of plastic wrap around the key before taping it then there is no sticky key problems. ~Willyjoeshow™

Derin (author)2009-01-03

it would be better named Hide A Cheap Key Notice it spells HACK.

akaski (author)2008-07-08

I think If I were to try this I would skip the magnet and just tape the key to the car...... use the magnet for something else :)

nrclark (author)akaski2008-07-08

One key difference being that on a hot day, your the adhesive on your tape would be likely to melt, plus wear-and-tear, dirt, etc. would make the tape come off. A magnet is definitely required for a long-term hold. However, I agree with ve2vfd that some approach other than tape might be ideal because most kinds of tape will leave stick gunk on your key after a couple of weeks.

akaski (author)nrclark2008-07-09

point taken, sometimes my computer does some weird stuff when online..... anyways the point is that I accidentally skipped step 1, it makes much more sense now. Maybe you could use a small-ish chain or maybe just bolt a hidden container which doesn't open easily :p There are probably a lot more ways :)

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